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NC_sox_fan
07-28-2003, 03:52 PM
This was in the Winston-Salem Journal this morning by sports writer, Dan Collins:


ON THE RISE: Honel thriving for Warthogs


By Dan Collins
JOURNAL REPORTER

There are a million and a half reasons the Chicago White Sox will give right-hander Kris Honel of the Winston-Salem Warthogs every opportunity to eventually pitch in the major leagues.

The White Sox paid Honel, the 16th pick of the 2001 draft, $1.5 million to sign instead of pitching for Arizona State. It's always a big decision to pay an untested high-school pitcher that kind of money, and humans, being human, don't like to be proven wrong.

But ultimately Honel's climb up the organizational ladder will be determined by one factor alone. He'll have to prove he can get big-league hitters out.

Rated the fourth best prospect in the White Sox organization, Honel has handled himself in impressive fashion in his 54 professional starts. Through 18 appearances for the Warthogs, Honel is 8-5 with a 2.67 earned-run average.

And his statistics bear close scrutiny. In 1041/3 innings, he has allowed just 86 hits and 31 walks and has struck out 95.

Still four months shy of his 21st birthday, Honel, along with left-hander Ryan Wing, has been one of the twin aces of a Warthogs staff that has helped pitch the club back into the playoffs for the first time since 1998.

'He's been our stopper,' Manager Razor Shines said. 'He's been the guy who, every fifth day, you know you've got a chance to win the ball game. And when you've got that, it takes pressure off everybody.

'When he goes out there, I can assure you we've got 25 guys who feel we can win this ball game.'

Many people, Honel among them, have wondered what he's still doing in the Class A Carolina League. Three pitchers who started the season with the Warthogs - Byeong Hak An, Kris McWhirter and Ryan Meaux - are pitching for Class AA Birmingham.

But all three are at least 23 years old, and the White Sox, an organization that has moved their personnel through Winston-Salem in rapid fashion during their seven-year affiliation with the city have, this season, shown the good patience and foresight to leave Honel at a level where he can experience the kind of success he has enjoyed in 2003.

'Everyone loves to move up,' Honel said. 'But you know what, you've just got to go out and do your job, and worry about what you're doing where you're at. Your play will take care of itself. Usually the player is the last one to find out.

'After the all-star break I kind of thought about it, and asked myself 'Why am I not moving?' I kind of lost focus. So I just say 'You know what, you're going to be here, just go out and do your job, work hard and if everything goes right it will happen.' You've just got to be patient.

'Also, we're going to be in the playoffs and we've got something good going down here. It really doesn't bother me if I don't get moved up, because I know I'm going to start (in Birmingham) next year.'

Honel's father, Mike, was an All-America at Eastern Illinois who coached at Evansville University. But when the White Sox drafted Honel in the first round after his 8-0 season for Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill., Honel decided that any aspirations to attend college would have to wait.

He's already been where he wants to eventually establish himself, when he was invited to the White Sox' major-league camp this spring training. But he knows that how fast he gets back there to stay will depend on what he does at Ernie Shore Field and other venues far from U.S. Cellular Field.

'It's an honor to be named fourth best prospect in the system,' Honel said. 'But you almost have to take that with a grain of salt. That doesn't really mean anything. It's all about getting to the big leagues.

'Rankings can mess with people's heads. Some people let it get to them and some people try to put too much pressure on themselves to perform. It's an honor just to have people know that about you, but your play is going to take care of itself and people will recognize your skills for your play and not what they see in the paper.'

Around and about

In hindsight, Wake Forest never really had much of a chance to land outfielder Rocco Baldelli, even though he did commit to George Greer's program after a tour de force high-school career in Warwick, R.I. Tampa Bay, which invested the sixth pick in the 2000 draft in Baldelli, paid him $2.25 million to bypass college. But it's fun to imagine what it would have meant for the Deacons if Baldelli had delayed his professional career for three seasons to play college baseball. Baldelli, who would have been a junior at Wake Forest this past spring, is hitting .306 with eight homers and 52 RBIs for Tampa Bay and is a strong candidate for AL Rookie of the Year.... Promoted from Winston-Salem in June, Jeremy Reed is proving he was ready to hit Class AA pitching. In 124 at-bats for Birmingham, Reed, the White Sox' second-round pick in 2002, is hitting .395. Although Kris McWhirter has struggled since being promoted from the Warthogs to Birmingham, Byeong Hak An and Ryan Meaux have given the Barons a lift. McWhirter is 2-5 with a 5.36 ERA, An is 3-1 with a 3.64 ERA and Meaux is 0-0 but has an eye-catching ERA of 1.72.

hold2dibber
07-28-2003, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by NC_sox_fan
This was in the Winston-Salem Journal this morning by sports writer, Dan Collins:


ON THE RISE: Honel thriving for Warthogs


By Dan Collins
JOURNAL REPORTER

There are a million and a half reasons the Chicago White Sox will give right-hander Kris Honel of the Winston-Salem Warthogs every opportunity to eventually pitch in the major leagues.

The White Sox paid Honel, the 16th pick of the 2001 draft, $1.5 million to sign instead of pitching for Arizona State. It's always a big decision to pay an untested high-school pitcher that kind of money, and humans, being human, don't like to be proven wrong.

But ultimately Honel's climb up the organizational ladder will be determined by one factor alone. He'll have to prove he can get big-league hitters out.

Rated the fourth best prospect in the White Sox organization, Honel has handled himself in impressive fashion in his 54 professional starts. Through 18 appearances for the Warthogs, Honel is 8-5 with a 2.67 earned-run average.

And his statistics bear close scrutiny. In 1041/3 innings, he has allowed just 86 hits and 31 walks and has struck out 95.

Still four months shy of his 21st birthday, Honel, along with left-hander Ryan Wing, has been one of the twin aces of a Warthogs staff that has helped pitch the club back into the playoffs for the first time since 1998.

'He's been our stopper,' Manager Razor Shines said. 'He's been the guy who, every fifth day, you know you've got a chance to win the ball game. And when you've got that, it takes pressure off everybody.

'When he goes out there, I can assure you we've got 25 guys who feel we can win this ball game.'

Many people, Honel among them, have wondered what he's still doing in the Class A Carolina League. Three pitchers who started the season with the Warthogs - Byeong Hak An, Kris McWhirter and Ryan Meaux - are pitching for Class AA Birmingham.

But all three are at least 23 years old, and the White Sox, an organization that has moved their personnel through Winston-Salem in rapid fashion during their seven-year affiliation with the city have, this season, shown the good patience and foresight to leave Honel at a level where he can experience the kind of success he has enjoyed in 2003.

'Everyone loves to move up,' Honel said. 'But you know what, you've just got to go out and do your job, and worry about what you're doing where you're at. Your play will take care of itself. Usually the player is the last one to find out.

'After the all-star break I kind of thought about it, and asked myself 'Why am I not moving?' I kind of lost focus. So I just say 'You know what, you're going to be here, just go out and do your job, work hard and if everything goes right it will happen.' You've just got to be patient.

'Also, we're going to be in the playoffs and we've got something good going down here. It really doesn't bother me if I don't get moved up, because I know I'm going to start (in Birmingham) next year.'

Honel's father, Mike, was an All-America at Eastern Illinois who coached at Evansville University. But when the White Sox drafted Honel in the first round after his 8-0 season for Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill., Honel decided that any aspirations to attend college would have to wait.

He's already been where he wants to eventually establish himself, when he was invited to the White Sox' major-league camp this spring training. But he knows that how fast he gets back there to stay will depend on what he does at Ernie Shore Field and other venues far from U.S. Cellular Field.

'It's an honor to be named fourth best prospect in the system,' Honel said. 'But you almost have to take that with a grain of salt. That doesn't really mean anything. It's all about getting to the big leagues.

'Rankings can mess with people's heads. Some people let it get to them and some people try to put too much pressure on themselves to perform. It's an honor just to have people know that about you, but your play is going to take care of itself and people will recognize your skills for your play and not what they see in the paper.'

Around and about

In hindsight, Wake Forest never really had much of a chance to land outfielder Rocco Baldelli, even though he did commit to George Greer's program after a tour de force high-school career in Warwick, R.I. Tampa Bay, which invested the sixth pick in the 2000 draft in Baldelli, paid him $2.25 million to bypass college. But it's fun to imagine what it would have meant for the Deacons if Baldelli had delayed his professional career for three seasons to play college baseball. Baldelli, who would have been a junior at Wake Forest this past spring, is hitting .306 with eight homers and 52 RBIs for Tampa Bay and is a strong candidate for AL Rookie of the Year.... Promoted from Winston-Salem in June, Jeremy Reed is proving he was ready to hit Class AA pitching. In 124 at-bats for Birmingham, Reed, the White Sox' second-round pick in 2002, is hitting .395. Although Kris McWhirter has struggled since being promoted from the Warthogs to Birmingham, Byeong Hak An and Ryan Meaux have given the Barons a lift. McWhirter is 2-5 with a 5.36 ERA, An is 3-1 with a 3.64 ERA and Meaux is 0-0 but has an eye-catching ERA of 1.72.

Great stuff, NCSF - thanks!

delben91
07-29-2003, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by NC_sox_fan
.... Promoted from Winston-Salem in June, Jeremy Reed is proving he was ready to hit Class AA pitching. In 124 at-bats for Birmingham, Reed, the White Sox' second-round pick in 2002, is hitting .395. Although Kris McWhirter has struggled since being promoted from the Warthogs to Birmingham, Byeong Hak An and Ryan Meaux have given the Barons a lift. McWhirter is 2-5 with a 5.36 ERA, An is 3-1 with a 3.64 ERA and Meaux is 0-0 but has an eye-catching ERA of 1.72.

Got to love reading that sort of thing about Reed too. I know Meaux is on the older side, and thus not considered a "prospect", but what about An? I've never heard much about him. He came over from Boston in the Howry deal right?